Seiko builds on the success of its enamel dials with four new models in the Presage Enamel Collection
Last year Seiko launched the enamel-dialled Presage Automatic Chronograph, a limited run of 1,000 pieces. It was based on the Laurel, Seiko’s first-ever wrist watch from 1913.
This year’s Baselworld will see the debut of four new Presage Enamel models, each one competitively priced between £849 and £2,000. The unlimited collection is another take on the Laurel, with the addition of a few new details from the Time Keeper, a Seiko pocket watch from 1895.
There’s a new 42mm chronograph, reference SRQ023, with the 8R48 automatic calibre. It’s at the top end of the collection, priced at £2,000.
It is similar to last year’s model although the Arabic numerals have been swapped out for Roman numerals, apart from on the sub-dials, and we’ve lost all colour accents, giving it a more earnest, serious look.
The Roman numerals are painted in an elongated font based on the font used on the Time Keeper. Each one is slightly raised – they are carefully painted over by hand at least ten times, adding a little depth to the dial.
There are two simple three-handers with a date window at 3 o’clock, the 40.5mm SPB047 (£849), above, and the tonneau-shaped SPB049 below (which, unfortunately, won’t be available in the UK, but is priced at €1,300). They both contain the 6R15 calibre, with 50 hours of power reserve.
The SPB045, meanwhile, has an additional 6 o’clock calendar sub-dial. Inside is the 6R27 with 45 hours of power reserve, counted down on an indicator at 9 o’clock; it costs £999.
All four new Presage models have bright white enamel dials, made by a team of craftsmen headed up by veteran enameller Mitsuru Yokozawa who began his career in enamelling at the Fuji Porcelain Enamel Co., Ltd, in 1968.
Each dial is glazed, with the depth of the coat judged by eye: it should be 0.10mm to 0.12mm thick. Changeable weather can be problematic, according to Yokozawa: ‘In an environment where the humidity drops during hot summer weather, the way the applied enamel glaze dries becomes changeable, making it easier for irregularities to occur. Sudden changes in environment may even stop the work process. The best weather conditions are on cloudy days from autumn to spring.’